How to Reupholster Round Chair Seats, featuring my new chairs!
We recently found new dining chairs after doing a little rearranging in our space. For a while now, we’ve had a barnwood bench at the table. I had this bench built years ago when the kids were both toddlers and I could see them piling on it with their friends for parties, etc. As they’ve gotten older, the need for it at the table decreased, and I found they came home from school and dropped their backpacks on it all the time, which frankly drove me a little batty. We decided to move the bench to the dining room wall, and now it makes perfect sense for them to leave their bags there and put their shoes on there in the morning. However, that left us with a set of 4 chairs at a longer dining table that really needs to have 3 per side. I loooooooved the black bentwoods that I’ve had for years in there so I hoped to find a couple more that I could just paint black as well and add to the mix. In my search I came across a set of 6 bentwoods with upholstered seats for a steal at $35 so it made sense to just take the black ones to Sweet Clover and replace them with this new set. The fabric on the seats was very outdated and didn’t fit my decor, so I knew they were going to need to be recovered. Today I am going to show you what turned out to be one of the grossest projects I’ve done to date and share with you how to reupholster round chair seats.
I shared a little peek at these chairs in my Spring tour, but didn’t give you much of a close up. You can see them below; the pattern was an outdated dusty rose floral and they also had a clear plastic cover over the fabric.
Last month, I had gone into Joann Stores and found a few fabric options for the seats. I decided to buy enough of all 3 that I liked because I knew I could use them somewhere else along the line and they were all 60% off at the time. They’re all beautiful, but I am sure it won’t surprise you that I selected the indigo in the end.
I am going to go through this process step by step for you.
- Remove the seats from the chairs. If you flip over your chair, you should find screws that hold the seat in place. Remove those screws and set them aside.
- If you need to remove old fabric, do that now. (Often your new fabric will be thick enough that you can just cover over the old pattern and it won’t show…. lazy girl’s DIY.) This step is one of the most frustrating depending on how many staples the previous job used. Whoever had covered these seats with plastic and the fabric under had certainly been staple happy. Now, hopefully this will not happen to you, but in removing the thick plastic covers I needed a lot of strength applied to pull out the staples. Secondly, the plastic under the chairs had layers of grease… on each chair. It was that nasty disgusting kitchen grease and there was no way to avoid it. I had to pull each plastic cover off, and I thoroughly washed my hands in between and tried not to gag as I worked. This would be my hand partway through pulling one off. You can see the build up of grease on the plastic here.
- Once the old fabric or plastic is removed to your satisfaction, place your seat down on the fabric of choice, with the backside of the fabric facing up. Cut around the perimeter of the seat leaving a few inches of excess around it (it doesn’t have to be perfect as you can see below).
- To recover a round seat, it’s best to create pleats. Start by pulling one piece of fabric up and over onto the bottom of the seat, and slightly folding it to create a pleat. Staple into place.
- Follow this same method around the entire chair and make sure that your pleat folds all face the same direction. Continue until you’ve made your entire way around the seat cushion.
- As you can see in the above photo, there was some excess fabric. Use your scissors to trim the fabric as you don’t want it drooping down and showing under your seat. Here is the same seat cushion post-trim.
- Reattach your seat to the chair. With round seats, any way can face front as they should fit uniformly in the seat frame. Make sure you have your pattern facing the direction you want! Place your seat cushion with its bottom facing you on a table. Place the chair frame on top.Using the screws you set aside, screw the seat back into place.
- Flip over your chair and admire your work!
In my case, it would have been a nice and quick project had I not had 6 chairs to do that were all covered with that nasty greasy plastic. I was so thrilled when I made it through all 6 because I loved the new look, and I needed a break… my hands were on fire!!!!
As you can see, I lined up my pattern so that the diamonds faced front.
I love the indigo and know that it’s a pattern and color I will love for a long time! If I ever have to recover them again, at least I won’t have to deal with the grubby vinyl.
You might also notice there’s a new rug situation going on in here and I’ll share that with you very soon!
Thanks for following along- hopefully you are inspired to take on your own set of round seated chairs, and I pray that they are not grease laden!
How to reupholster round chair seats